Greetings! Today is the strangest day of the season for baseball fans. Right in the middle of the summer, we have a whole day without a single game. It's sort of eerie for me every year.
But, while you may not have baseball to watch, you have baseball writings to catch up on. Start here with the AL West, a division that no one seems to want to win in July.
Oh, two of the teams made a little trade with eachother, by the way.
The Division At Large
Baseball Time In Arlington: On The Rangers' Cliff Lee Trade
A major trade between the first and last place teams in the same division is pretty unique news. So we start with a few reactions, the first being Joey Matschulat. He thinks it stings, but likes seeing the FO make a move.
Lookout Landing: This Has Not Been An Easy Day For Me
For the Mariners' point of view, we have Jeff Sullivan. He urges fans to not worry about who won or lost the trade, is sad to see Lee go, and is very excited about Justin Smoak.
ESPN: Both Sides Win In Cliff Lee Trade
Dan Szymborski applies ZiPS to the rest of Cliff Lee's season for the Rangers, and the next several seasons of Justin Smoak for the Mariners. As the title suggests, he thinks both sides did well.
The Hardball Times: Translating Cliff Lee The Mariner Into Cliff Lee The Ranger
Jeffrey Gross takes a multi-part attempt of projecting what Lee's season would have been so far as a Ranger, and what it should be going forward. Despite expecting some regression, he does like the trade.
Texas Rangers (50-38)
FanGraphs: Will The Real Julio Borbon Please Stand Up?
Joe Pawlikowski discusses the non-move of sticking with Julio Borbon despite early season struggles, and thinks it can likely continue to work out for Texas.
SB Nation Dallas-Ft. Worth: Cliff Lee's Pitches
Applying the Pitchf/x tools of FanGraphs and Texas Leaguers to Cliff Lee's pitches to give Rangers fans a taste of what they'll be seeing this season.
SB Nation Dallas-Ft. Worth: Best Trades In Rangers History
With the help of brWAR magic, J.P. Starkey lists the top five trades in Rangers history. Of the players received, three (two from one trade) made yesterday's All-Star team, another made the final vote, and a fifth was very close.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (47-44)
Despite the fact that I, admittedly, have a dog in this race, and Jered Weaver is frightening opposition to it, I continue to enjoy articles singing his praises. Because deserves it. Here's Eric Seidman looking at how he's grown.
FanGraphs: What The Anaheim Angels Should Do
Matthew Carruth looks at what the Angels should do heading in to the deadline. His stance is they have time to decide if they're sellers or not, but should certainly not be buyers right now.
R.J. Anderson analyzes some of the unpredictable players who have contributed to Los Angeles's success this season.
Halo Hangout: Angels At The Break Part 1 -- Pitching
Nate Proctor runs down the good, the bad and the ugly of the Angels' pitching in the first half of the season. Scott Kazmir, whose trade proved the Rays had to raise a white flag, of course, is in the good. Oh wait. . .
Oakland Athletics (43-46)
Athetlics Nation: Top Ten Best Players In Oakland History By WAR
Danmerqury lists the 10 best careers in Oakland history by brWAR. No. 1 is obvious, Nos. 6, 9 and 10 I found surprising. No. 2 I don't, but I'll bet many others do.
Athletics Nation: Ellis And Sweeney -- What Good Is UZR?
AN reader Iglew talks about UZR, particularly how reliable it is and whether it's used too often as a predictive stat. Good conversation ensues in the comments.
Seattle Mariners (35-53)
I'm a firm believer fans need to care and get excited more about prospects. Unless you're a fan of another AL West team other than Seattle, Pineda is one of them. Eno Sarris has some statty lowdown on his goodness.
U.S.S. Mariner: Smoak And Mirrors -- Look At The Splits
For a couple months, sabermetrically-inclined Rangers fans have been preaching that Smoak is better than his simple slash stats indicate. After the trade, it's now the turn of Mariners fans to do that.
Lookout Landing: First Half In Review -- Passing Out The Grades (Pitchers|Hitters)
The Lookout Landing crew has their at-the-break report cards for the 2010 Mariners roster.